G.W. Foote

(11 January 1850 – 17 October 1915)

George William Foote was a publisher and president of the National Secular Society (NSS).

Foote was born in Plymouth. His father was a customs officer there but  died when Foote was only four.

Foote founded the periodical The Freethinker in 1882 and it is still in rude health, both in paper and online.

In 1883 he was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for publishing cartoons judged blasphemous.

He succeeded Charles Bradlaugh as president of the NSS in 1891 and retained the post until his death.

Sydney Gimson wrote of him:

G. W. Foote, for whose early magazines my father had provided a good deal of capital, delivered fine fighting lectures which always had a dignified literary form. He had a deep musical voice and delighted in reciting bits of Shakespeare or reading treasured passages from the Poets.

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